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An Echo in the Bone Hardcover – Sep 22 2009

3.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Sep 22 2009
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 848 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada; 1st Edition edition (Sept. 22 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385666101
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385666107
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 5.1 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #152,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Praise for An Echo in the Bone:
"A grand adventure written across a canvas that probes the heart, weighs the soul and measures the human spirit across ten generations"

Praise for Diana Gabaldon:
“Riveting. Gabaldon has a true storyteller’s voice.”
The Globe and Mail

About the Author

Diana Gabaldon is The New York Times and Globe and Mail bestselling author of the wildly popular Outlander novels — Outlander, Dragonfly in Amber, Voyager, Drums of Autumn, The Fiery Cross, and A Breath of Snow and Ashes — as well as the bestselling series featuring Lord John Grey, a character she introduced in Voyager and one work of non-fiction, The Outlandish Companion. Winner of a 2006 Quill Award for A Breath of Snow and Ashes, Gabaldon lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Diana Gabaldon's books 5 or 6 times. It's almost a joke in my family that I keep reading her books over and over again and still enjoy them. So, it was exciting to read of the launch of her newest book last September and I received a hard copy for Christmas. In the midst of family holiday celebrations I started reading it and thought that the wandering plots, the disconnected characters and the lack of interest I seemed to have was due to the distractions of having my entire family around. Imagine my disappointment when I started the book again and found that this was really the case. All of the comments I've read about the book are what I've thought. Too many irrelevant characters (I had to re-read the ocean battle scene a few times to get the people straight and I still don't understand the relevance.) The last few pages were possibly the most interesting although there were so many disjointed threads it was as if Diana realized that she was running out of time and jammed in as many bits as possible. But I hated the way she left us hanging - very dissimilar to her other books. I felt there was too much about Lord John and William, not enough about Claire and Jamie and while I understand that Diana is an American and that the war of Independence is very important to her, one of the things I loved most about her other books was the international aspect to them. The war of independence is an important piece of history but the minutia about the so called military manoeuvers left me cold.

All in all, I am very disappointed and feel let down at the quality of this book. There are also typos such as the description of Jem and the chickens and Mrs. Bug where she is called Mrs. Baird. Not a big deal but annoying when reading.

For the first time with respect to a Gabaldon book, I would say that it was not worth the money to buy it nor worth the time it took to read (and re-read) it. I feel terrible in saying this.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll start by saying I LOVE the Outlander series of novels. Claire and Jaime, Roger and Bree, Ian, Jenny... they're all wonderful characters who have been given depth and complexity over the course of the first 6 novels. Then we hit this one. It's my least favorite of the 7.

For the first time ever, I had trouble "getting into" the novel. I felt like too much time was being spent on new characters - John Grey (not a new character by any means, but a minor one in the past novels) was given chapter after chapter of story line, most of which referred back to his own spinoff book which I didn't read because I don't really care about him that much. Characters were mentioned that I couldn't possibly make the connections between, having only read the Outlander series. The result of this was much re-reading, trying to spin the web of connections and make out the proper relationships from the past. Like the French spy who comes looking for Fergus for what reason? Fergus is the illegitimate son of who now??

The Jaime and Claire story took a backseat for the first time. The plot was more about John and his son William (Jamie's son actually, but you know what I mean) and their past. I feel like Gabaldon spent more time developing a way to introduce some famous players into the book than she did developing the original storyline. The story of Roger and Bree in the future was nicely worked in, but was constantly interrupted by descriptions of war and random appearances by Ben Franklin and Benedict Arnold. I realize that she was trying to be accurate in her plot lines, but honestly, I'm not reading it for the accurate historical value. I don't need that many details.

The last few chapters of the book were shockingly different in pace.
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Format: Hardcover
Echo picks up where A Breath of Snow and Ashes left off as Claire and Jamie Fraser and Jamie's nephew Ian leave life at Fraser's Ridge behind them, head for Scotland to pick up Jamie's printing press and return to America. Of course this _is_ Jamie and Claire we're talking about so there is no smooth sailing and the *road* to Scotland is mired with many side-trips and detours as well. Roger and Bree have returned to the present and settled into life at Lallybroch, although they're also in for a few twists and turns and bumps in the night as well. William is now an adult and an officer in the British army and we see quite a bit more of him - will he and Jamie ever meet face to face? Who is the mysterious man searching for Fergus and what secrets might he reveal about his birth parents?

You'll find new friends among the old from the previous books (and a couple of very surprising returns), although IMHO there are waaaaay too many new friends as well as waaaay too much of Lord John and characters from his books. I'm not that fond of Lord John as a major character and that's why I didn't read the books to begin with and consider it dirty pool to muck up Jamie and Claire's story with Lord John's, particularly that little plot twist at the end. Eww ewww ewww ewww e[...] Diana, how could you?

In the end, I'm wondering if I've changed as a reader, or has Gabaldon changed and/or got a bit sloppy? I've heard many complain about her going on in too much detail in the other books but I was so enraptured with them I wouldn't have wanted to have seen one word edited out.
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